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Managing your skin conditions while pregnant

Managing your skin conditions while pregnant
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Managing skin conditions during pregnancy can be challenging if your regular treatments are not safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Additionally, some dormant skin conditions pop up during pregnancy and require some form of management.

Managing eczema
Eczema may flare up during pregnancy due to immune system shifts. This typically happens in women who have already shown a predisposition to atopic dermatitis/eczema in the past. Pregnant women are usually prescribed topical corticosteroids, with milder versions preferred.

Treatment should only be for a short period of time if treatment is initially unsuccessful. Diluting the steroid creams with moisturiser can also be helpful, to reduce the amount of medication used and promote healing.

Psoriasis treatments
Psoriasis can sometimes disappear completely during pregnancy, allowing a low-dose or no-dose treatment strategy during that time. Around half of all pregnant women with psoriasis see a dramatic improvement in symptoms during pregnancy.

Some treatments for severe psoriasis are unsuitable for use during pregnancy and will be discontinued prior to conception. If treatment is required, it should be limited to topical treatments, not systemic medication. Phototherapy can be used if extra treatment is necessary, but avoid PUVA treatments. Once the baby is born, speak to your dermatologist about resuming treatments as quickly as possible, since a flare-up post-baby is likely.

Breastfeeding mothers should avoid applying corticosteroids to the nipple, since it will then be directly transported into the baby.

Acne treatments and management
Acne treatments vary widely, with many treatments suitable for pregnant women. Topical benzoyl peroxide works well, as it is safe and readily available. It can be used with topical antibiotic clindamycin, under the direction of your dermatologist. In moderate or severe cases of acne, limited doses of antibiotics may be prescribed, but pregnant women should avoid tetracycline antibiotics.

Being pregnant often means skin problems, so speak to your dermatologist regarding your options.

Pregnant with a skin condition?
Talk to a dermatologist.
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